Drunken mayhem on Dunedin streets

Drunken mayhem - including fighting and the lighting of fires - blighted the central city and north Dunedin as Orientation Week wound up last night, police say.

Fourteen people were arrested for offences including assault and various disorder related offending. Police said much of the blame lay not with students but with visitors to the city.

"A large number of young people partying up and consuming an excessive amount of alcohol, has again created an unsafe environment that's resulted in hospitalisations, arrests and disruption to the local community," Acting Inspector Allan Grindell said.

The Fire Service and police attended "too many fires in the North Dunedin area" and two men were arrested for disorderly behaviour surrounding these fires, he said.

Police said they had no problems at the well-attended Orientation concert at the stadium but the trouble started when a large crowd headed towards the central city.

The bars in the Octagon got so busy the lower Octagon roadway became blocked at one stage forcing police to close of the road to ensure the safety of those waiting to get into bars.

Police were then called to several drunken fights in the main.

Many of those involved in these incidents and arrests were visitors to the city including the two arrested for disorder surrounding the fires in the North Dunedin area.

While police have a role to play in 'as much as possible' keeping people safe and enforcing the law, last night's events had again demonstrated that when young people drink excessively they are more likely to become victims of crime or offenders, or harm themselves, Insp Grindell said.


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